Tell us about your current career outside of being an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College.
I like to think of myself as a navigator of the new media landscape—helping people clear the noise and communicate their stories using technology. I am currently the New Media Manager and the LeadOnline Communications Trainer at the Community Media Workshop at Columbia College Chicago. My focus at “the Workshop” is developing and implementing the organization’s strategic online communications, managing the development and production of new media resources and develop and lead workshops to supportnonprofits and small business’ communications goals. I also provide strategic web development consulting for artists, communications firms, foundations and other local and national businesses.
What was your first “real world” job?
My first “real world” job was a Communications Specialist position at the Chicago office of the American Friends Service Committee. I was a one person department providing all the communications work for a peace organization in the time of war… This is probably where I learned the most about what I am capable of and why I lovebeing a critical communicator advocating for change.
Professional accomplishments you’ve achieved over the years?
As the New Media Manager at the Community Media Workshop, I have helped position the organization as a thought leader on nonprofit communications and media relations in Chicago by leading major research projects including the development of the Chicago Media Guide Online Database and the annual NEW News Report commissioned by the Chicago Community Trust. I have also helped the organization lead the way in new media and social media communications by helping develop innovative and strategic approaches to tools and by developing ongoing training curriculum on these topics for the past five years. I am a 35 under 35 Community Leadership Award recipient by the Community Renewal Society and a Silver Trumpet Awardee of the Publicity Club of Chicago.
What drives your professional career?
I love what I do. Knowing that the work I produce creates an impact on hundreds of small business, nonprofits and young people a year motivates me to see them succeed. I also have a natural curiosity about technology and how things work which also motivates me to discover and understand technology trends and its impact on society and culture.
Three pieces of advice that would be helpful to any student.
1. Always do your best and try to learn from every decision and action you make.
2. Take ownership over what you create and love what you do.
3. Take mastering your skills seriously and know that it is a lifelong process.